SVP proposes lifting sanctions against Russia, preventing sanctions against China

Backed by the rightwing populist Swiss People’s party (SVP), Switzerland’s largest political movement, the campaign proposes four new clauses that would more precisely define what the Alpine country’s long-held neutrality means in practice.

The changes would prohibit Switzerland from entering into any military alliance unless it was itself attacked. They would also explicitly prevent the government from imposing or joining any form of coercive sanctions regime — as it has done against Russia since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine — unless it was granted a mandate to do so by the UN Security Council.

As China and Russia have the power of veto over any vote by the Security Council, such a condition would guarantee the status of Switzerland, Europe’s seventh largest economy and the world’s largest centre of offshore wealth, as a permanent safe haven for Moscow and Beijing’s financial and trade interests.

Sanctions are bad for business:-)

EMS has a big China business…

So it’s “Nazi gold” all over again?


“If all states behaved like Switzerland, there would be no war,” the SVP said…
This says everything about the level of ignorance and naivete at the SVP. Hopefully, this wont pass.


Interesting bet.

The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs publishes every year a report on the financial sector. Some interesting numbers:

  1. Let’s start with the contribution of banks and insurers to GDP and jobs. A charitable interpretation is that that banking and insurance has flatlined since 2012. A less charitable interpretation is decay. And nothing related to sanctions but the rescue of UBS on 2008, US FATCA on 2014, and rescue of CS last year.



  1. Then, this is how much banks and insurers pay in taxes to the federal, cantonal and municipalities in taxes:


  1. So, 5% of jobs, 11-13% of tax revenue, it’s important . When you consider banking and insurance are basically the most successful exports that keep the account surplus alive, they’re importanter. Maybe, a highly paid wealth manager should tell Switzerland that diversification is important.


Yes, banks and insurance are great business. However, diversification should be the point. How to create a new thing that keeps money flowing while banks ail for a while? But, this is not happening. Old people is quite busy crying over spilled milk.

In recent years, the idea of banks being the Dutch Disease of Switzerland has been floating around. They keep money flowing to Switzerland, Franc value goes up and any other company that exports become less competitive. During my short sting in consulting I’ve seen how our hourly rates go up and up in EUR and USD. It will be interesting to see the same SECO report in a couple years after the CS impact has materialized on the sector. If banking keeps around 10% of GDP, maybe that’s a sweet spot. If banks grow more, they might suffocate other businesses that export from here. So, the impact of sanctions may not be as bad as it seems.

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